Posts Tagged ‘Italian food’

1315 Surf Avenue

Vacant since Sandy, 1315 Surf Avenue will be the site of an Italian fast food restaurant. The Shore Theater building next door, owned by the Bullard family, has been vacant for 40 years. May 13, 2015. Photo © Tricia Vita

What’s new on the north side of Surf, the mecca for franchises in Coney Island? At 1315, where Cha Cha’s relocated from the Boardwalk until calling it quits after being devastated by Sandy, a permit has been taken out for interior renovations. A new eatery is going there and thankfully it won’t be another franchise or chain.

The Russo Brothers, owners of Gargiulo’s, which is Coney Island’s bastion of fine dining, are planning to open a fast food Italian restaurant, according to Anthony Russo. Pizza, veal parm and fried calamari will be among the offerings Russo told ATZ. No opening date has been set, but construction is expected to get underway as soon as permits have been approved.

Gargiulo's Way

Gargiulo’s Way, West 15th St between Surf and Mermaid Avenues, Coney Island. November 16, 2014. Photo © Tricia Vita

The Russo brothers own the building as well as the adjacent one where tenants include Piece of Velvet Bakery and Rita’s Italian Ice on the corner of 15th Street. In 2007, West 15th Street between Surf and Mermaid Avenues was designated Gargiulo’s Way to mark the 100th anniversary of Gargiulo’s Restaurant. Founded by Gus Gargiulo and owned by the Russo family since 1965, the Coney Island landmark at 2911 West 15th offers classic Neapolitan cuisine.

According to broker Joe Vitacco, who leased the storefronts to Rita’s and Piece of Velvet, there are very few remaining vacant spaces for lease on the north side of Surf. At 1223 Surf Avenue, he has 2,100 square feet on the first floor and 5,000 square feet plus 1,900 square foot terrace on the second floor and 4,000 square feet rooftop dinning for $45-$50 per square foot.

The first floor of that address next to Stillwell Terminal was also leased to a Johnny Rockets (6000 sf) and Red Mango (2.000 sf) franchisee in 2012, but construction has been delayed by new and ever-changing post-Sandy building regulations. Among the stores Vitacco is offering are 1,450 square feet at 1019 Surf Avenue next to the new Subway Cafe and across the street from Luna Park.

Related posts on ATZ…

May 14, 2015: Coney Island 2015: Red Doors Bar & Grill Opens on North Side of Surf Ave

January 29, 2015: Coney Island 2015: Subway Cafe, Sushi Lounge, IHOP, Checkers, Johnny Rockets

January 3, 2014: New Year, New Franchise: Rita’s Italian Ice Coming to Coney Island

December 19, 2012: Will Coney Island’s Surf Ave Become a Mecca for Franchises?


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 Zito's Sandwich Shoppe

Coming to Coney Island this Summer? 'Best traditional Eggplant Hero on the street' as quoted by a very satisfied patron via email. Photo and caption via Zito's Sandwich Shoppe, Park Slope, Brooklyn

On Sunday Zito’s Sandwich Shoppe tweeted to their followers that they were “working on a Coney Island Luna Park collaboration-more to come-looking to be part of the New Coney Island.” When we phoned to get the scoop, co-owner Marcello Bucca confirmed it was true but declined to say more until the lease is signed. ATZ is delighted by the possibility of having an Italian-American sandwich shop in Coney Island’s amusement area. During the summer, tourists often ask where they can buy the delicious sandwich we’re eating. We have to say, uh, you can’t. We brought it from home.

Zito’s menu features 13 different sandwiches including chicken parm, eggplant parm, pork bracciole, and for all of you vegetarians–meatless with grilled portobello, roasted peppers, broccoli rabe and homemade artichoke spread. Meats are from Salumeria Beillese of Hell’s Kitchen and Applegate Farms Organic Meats. All sandwiches are made on bread from Bensonhurst’s Il Fornaretto Bakery, one of Brooklyn’s best for Italian bread. Bucca and co-owner Enzo Conigliaro are Bensonhurst natives influenced by an old country philosophy and the slow food movement, according to an article posted in the Park Slope Patch when the sandwich shop opened last August.

As for their Coney Island location, our best guess is that Zito’s is eyeing one or more of the soon-to-be-rehabbed stands on the east side of Jones Walk, which Zamperla is leasing from the City. While the majority of the booths are expected to be game concessions run by Zamperla, the rest were being offered a few weeks ago to select food vendors. The Walk would be the most likely spot for a sandwich shop since French food giant Sodexo has an exclusive contract to provide food service within Zamperla’s Luna Park.

In November, the City’s Economic Development Corporation issued an RFP (Request for Proposals) for the booths on the east side of Jones Walk, a 1,650 square foot space that was purchased along with a larger parcel in 2008. The RFP required renovating or completely rebuilding the existing booths, some of which are in poor condition. The leases of longtime tenants in City-owned booths on the Walk, including water race games and other games of skill, windows featuring the mechanical doll “Miss Coney Island” and animated toy rides, and a Pina Colada stand were not renewed. The majority of tenants were able to relocate to other City-owned or private property in Coney Island.

UPDATE April 27, 2012:

UPDATE July 2, 2012:

Zito’s Marcello Bucca tells ATZ that Zito’s will not be opening in Coney Island this season: “Word on the street is correct,” he said. “They were not ready for us.” He said that Zamperla received financing at the end of June, later than they expected, thus delaying construction. The rehabbed Jones Walk stalls were originally slated to open on Memorial Day. Asked if Zito’s Sandwich Shoppe planned to open a location in Coney Island next season, Marcello said he hoped so, because so many people have been calling to ask about the new Coney Island location. “Ideally we’ll see what opens up. Right now it’s a no-go for this year.”
“Coney Island Update: New Arcade, No-Go for Zito’s, Tom’s Construction Saga,” ATZ, July 2, 2012


Related posts on ATZ…

April 16, 2012: Art of the Day: Fresh Corn on the Cob at Ruby’s Bar & Grill

April 7, 2012: Cheers! First Drink at Relocated Cha Cha’s of Coney Island

December 8, 2011: Paul’s Daughter Signs 8-Year Lease for Coney Island Boardwalk

December 7, 2011: Jones Walk’s “Miss Coney Island” Shimmies Over to 12th St

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